Isle of Man TT winner Ryan Farquhar dominated the podium at the opening day of racing at the North West 200 as his KMR Racing team took all three spots in the firs-ever SuperTwin race at the event.
As expected, Farquhar took the win on Thursday evening, but the icing on the cake came when his teammate Jeremy McWilliams, making his NW200 debut, and Michael Rutter finished second and third.
The fourth member of the KMR Kawasaki team, Jamie Hamilton, also scoreda fine 6th place.
The two-times TT winner described it as one of the greatest moments of his career.
“This is without doubt one of the best moments of my career and to be sitting here with a 1-2-3 at the North West 200 is something special. People laughed at me when I first started riding in the class, but here we are now with a clean sweep of the podium and with world class riders Jeremy and Michael riding KMR Kawasakis - it's a very special feeling.”
“I've obviously been heavily involved in the class and knew the potential of the bikes so to see them included at the NW200 and TT in itself was superb, but for me to have won today and have Jeremy, Michael and Jamie in 2nd, third 3rd and 6th is a dream come true - I'm absolutely over the moon.”
“I think we've really shown today how good the class is and I'd go as far as saying it's the best win I've ever had. It was a difficult race though with the weather conditions and tyre choice was very difficult, but I was happy with what I went with and once I got to the front I was able to keep a decent gap and control the race as best I could.”
“For Jeremy to finish 2nd on his debut is unbelievable whilst what Michael did on dry tyres was equally special. It just shows what a class rider he is and at the TT he's going to be the man to beat for sure.”
“Jamie did another great job as well and is as much a part of today's success as everyone else so we'll savour the result.”
Tyre choice was a lottery for the four-lap SuperTwin race, with an assortment of combinations throughout the field.
Farquhar and James Hiller, riding a Farquhar-prepared chassis, traded the lead during the early part of the opening lap, but the Dungannon star hit the front at the Magic Roundabout and pulled away.
He controlled the gap to eventually take the win by 2.9 seconds from former Grand Prix racer McWilliams.
TT stars Rutter, Hillier and Adrian Archibald completed the top six.
Earlier in the evening, the 6-lap Superstock race saw Isle of Man TT regulars dominate the top 15.
As short circuit specialist Alastair Seeley pulled away in the lead, Farquhar, Cameron Donald, Stefano Bonetti and Lee Johnston, who will make his TT debut this year, battled for the podium.
After a hard fought battle, Johnston took an unexpected but popular 2nd place from Donald, with Farquhar just 0.1 of a second back in 4th. TT regulars Bonetti, Hillier, Rutter, Michael Dunlop, Guy Martin, Ian Lougher, Conor Cummins, Stephen Thompson, William Dunlop, Adrian Archibald and John McGuinness completed the top 15.
Racing continues on Saturday, just one week before the first practice session at the 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy.